Can Richarlison Become the Next FIFA Cover Star?
The beautiful game’s future looks brighter than ever thanks to a slew of talented fledgling stars from all around the globe. One of them is Richarlison de Andrade, the dynamic Brazilian forward who is just 21-years-old. Already a member of the Seleção, Richarlison looks like a star in the making, looking to emulate his childhood idol ,Neymar.
At 18, Richarlison got his first taste of professional football in his home country of Brazil with América Futebol Clube at the Campeonato Mineiro and then with Fluminense in Série A. In 2017, a 20-year-old Richarlison completed a transfer to Watford, marking his arrival on the big stage. He scored 5 goals while playing in every one of the team’s matches during the 2017/18 season, proving beyond doubt that he deserved the £11.2 million transfer fee Watford paid for him. Following his first season in English football, Richarlison completed a transfer to Everton, one that saw him reunited with former Watford manager Marco Silva. Once more, the young forward has proven up to the task, netting 13 goals so far for the Toffees.
In contrast, the player whom Richarlison has been trying to emulate his whole life, Neymar, turned professional in 2009 at the age of 17, playing for the same Santos team that took him in at their youth academy. Neymar quickly became a household name, culminating in being voted the Best Player in the Recopa Sudamericana 2012 season. He then left for Europe four years later when he signed for Barcelona, where he went on to establish himself as one of football’s greatest players. He has continued his accent to superstardom, now playing for Ligue 1 title holders Paris Saint-Germain.
IMAGE CREDIT : Pintrest
Neymar is clearly one of football’s global superstars — arguably a worthy successor to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in terms of talent and marketability. Both, in all likelihood, are factors that EA Sports considers in choosing the cover of the ultra-popular FIFA series. FIFA is the most successful football simulation franchise in the world, developed by EA Sports. It is the best in the genre by far, even branching out into online releases the past couple of years. In fact, FIFA was yet again, one of the bestselling online games in 2018 , selling 4.9 million units worldwide. The series’ latest installment, FIFA 19 features Neymar on the cover, along with fellow superstars Paulo Dybala and Kevin de Bruyne. This is a well-deserved honour for Neymar, a sign he has “made it” as one of the sport’s transcendent names. The question now is whether Richarlison can reach that level, too. He may have a long way to go, but he has so far shown the makings of a superstar.
While Richarlison is just starting his professional career and only scratching the surface of his immense potential – Toffees fans are genuinely excited about how good the Brazilian may turn out to be. Working in his favour is his remarkable work ethic, as evident by, his inspiring rags-to-riches ascent to football’s richest league. That same inspiring story helps his cause by making him even more relatable to his fans. But can he become the next FIFA cover star, just like his idol, Neymar? The signs are there — the talent, the dedication to the sport, and even the charisma. At 21, Richarlison looks like a Neymar in the making, so don’t be surprised if he makes it to the FIFA cover in the next four to six years.